By the year 2030, one in five people in Clinton County will be age 65 and older. In order to assist businesses in accommodating this growing demographic, the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce offers the opportunity for businesses to become certified as “age-friendly” through the Age-Friendly Business Program.
In September of 2018, Clinton County entered into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Clinton County’s membership in the Network signified that the County’s elected leadership would make a commitment to becoming a more livable community for all ages. The Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) led the initiative by conducting a findings report which revealed that older adults in Clinton County require more accessibility features in homes, public spaces, and businesses. In response to the need for more accessible businesses, the Age-Friendly Business Program was created.
Businesses are evaluated based on the following five categories:
- Entrance and Exit
- Inside Area
- Restroom Fixtures
There are five criteria in each category. Businesses must meet at least four criteria in each category in order to be certified as age-friendly. Please review the full evaluation criteria here.
Disclaimer: Please note this is not a formalized assessment of this business under the Accessibility requirements of Title III of The Americans with Disability Act as referenced in U.S. 28 CFR Part 36 and the 2010 ADA Standards. Businesses wanting a formalized legal assessment should consult an architect or professional architectural barrier consultant to inspect their facilities under the above standards. They may also contact the U.S. Dept of Justice ADA Hotline at 800-514-0301 or the Great Lakes ADA Center at 800-949-4232.
Why Become Age-Friendly?
Age-friendly certification means that your business will be participating in a wider effort to make Clinton County more livable for all ages and abilities. Improving businesses for the good of older adults is one aspect of a comprehensive strategy aimed at transportation, housing, healthcare, and much more. Here are three reasons why your business should consider certification:
- Certification will promote your business. Upon becoming certified, business will receive a certificate of approval, a window decal, and a listing in the Age-Friendly Business Directory.
- It’s a growing market. By the year 2030, one in five people living in Clinton County will be age 65 and older. This is a 37% increase between 2010 and 2030, representing a significant demographic shift. Similarly, the population of Clinton County residents living with a disability is expected to increase 38% between the years 2015 and 2030. The need for accessible businesses becomes greater each year as more consumers fit into these two categories. (Sources: Ohio Development Services Agency. Ohio Population Projections. Office of Research. 2018; Mehdizadeh, S. Kunkel. Projections of Ohio’s Population with Physical and/or Cognitive Disability by County, 2010-2030. Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University, Oxford, OH. 2014.)
- They have buying power. By the year 2030, the spending of Americans age 55 and older will account for 50% of all domestic consumer spending growth since the Great Recession. The incoming generation of older adults are wealthier, more active, and are expected to live longer than the previous generation. Consequently, businesses that are attune to the needs and tastes of older adults will find success with this market. (Source: The Boston Consulting Group. Global Aging: How Companies Can Adapt to a New Reality. 2011.)
Tax Incentives for Businesses
We realize that making accessibility modifications to your business can be expensive. Here are two tax incentives that can help offset the cost of improvement:
- Barrier Removal Tax Deduction: This deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Businesses may claim a deduction of up to $15,000 a year for qualified expenses. Examples include widening doors, building ramps, and modifying vehicles.
- Disabled Access Credit: This is a non-refundable credit of up to $5,000 for small businesses (less than $1 million in earnings and no more than 30 employees) that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. Examples include building ramps, creating Braille documents, and providing accessible equipment.
To learn more, visit Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.
Sign Up for a Free Evaluation
Please complete this form if you are interested in obtaining the Age-Friendly Business Certification.